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PETRI HAWKINS BYRD

Chairman of the board

O.K. Program


        Petri Hawkins Byrd, otherwise known as ‘Officer Byrd’ from the TV court show, Judge Judy, was born Petri Adonis Byrd in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. (He changed the ‘Adonis’ to his mother’s maiden name, ‘Hawkins’ because “I didn’t want people to think I made it up.”).

          Byrd - as he’s known to friends and fans alike-, graduated from Eastern District High School, in Brooklyn and attended Hostos Community College, in the Bronx. In 1986, after being transferred from Brooklyn Family Court to Manhattan Family Court, Byrd met is future TV boss, Judge Judith Sheindlin. In 1989, Byrd received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College. (“Some folks graduated ‘magna cum laude’. I graduated ‘Thank you, Lordy”’! )

            In 1990, Byrd and his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area., where he worked for the U.S. Marshal Service.

            It was in 1995, while working as a campus supervisor at a local high school that he received a call from Judge Judy, asking whether he would be interested reuniting with her to do a TV court show. The rest, as they say, is history. Judge Judy is currently in its thirteenth season and shows no signs of slowing down.

           “Officer” Byrd, while continuing in the role that has brought him worldwide recognition, continues to broaden his horizons through work in theatre, commercial and film. A published and recorded songwriter, the former Brooklynite is currently working on animation and spoken word projects, for children and adults. A staunch community activist, Byrd is the chairman of the national board for the O.K.Program,- an organization designed to address social issues confronting young African-American males- as well as the board chairman of Teen Center USA, a faith-based youth program.

            When not working on the Judge Judy Show, Byrd is a much sought after emcee and “inspirational” speaker. (He’s emceed shows for Gerald Albright, Smokey Robinson, Howard Hewitt, Brian Culbertson, War, Heatwave, Norman Brown, CeCe Winans and Take 6.) 

Byrd currently lives in the Sacramento area with his wife and four children. As to his future plans, Byrd says, “The Bible tells me that God knows the plans He has for me. So I’m content to just be His co-pilot!”

 

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